The sounds of joyful screams, the scent of cotton candy, the heat rippling off the pavement and the rhythmic whizzing of overhead roller coasters set the scene for Julie Wooten’s first-ever job in hospitality, working at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. What could have been just another service job experience sparked the flame of her future career. It was there Wooten realized she was good at serving people, and was fortunate to have several excellent mentors who helped her realize her potential in the industry.
Wooten currently serves as CoralTree’s SVP of People Services, where she creates and leads strategy around culture development, talent acquisition, benefits, property PS support, training and development, and compensation. She has always gravitated to being a mediator, problem solver, or the person people turned to for guidance. As she became familiar with the human resources field, it just seemed like a natural place for her to land, with her strengths in relationship building.
Wooten became a human resources manager for Anheuser Busch/Busch Entertainment and spent a formative 13 years of her career there before joining ClubCorp as their Vice President of Human Resources from 1989 to 2005. The next three years took her to the historic Omni Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. In 2008, she joined the Destination Hotels family, serving in various leadership roles over the next eight years, culminating in Vice President of People Strategy. In 2016, she became Vice President, East Region at Two Roads Hospitality before joining CoralTree in 2018.
One of her proudest career moments was when she received the Keeper of the Culture award at Destination Hotels. The honor is given to a people services leader who creates culture and inspires others, notably for Wooten’s work with the opening of Terranea, the iconic California seaside resort.
She still makes time to travel herself. One of her favorite trips was to visit her daughter, who was studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. There, Wooten enjoyed exploring and found delight in tucked-away markets where she could savor the sights, sounds and smells - and connect with local residents.